Saturday, 5 November 2011

AUTHOR INTERVIEW - JED FISHER





  1. What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?  My name is Jed Fisher, I was born and raised in Ohio, (USA) and now live in Oklahoma (USA) after retiring from 24 years in the Army.
  2. Did you always want to be a writer?  If not what did you want to be?  I decided to become a writer about 20 years ago, when I ran out of things to read in the genera I enjoyed most.  Now I write to add to the genera of Military Science Fiction, so that other readers can enjoy it.  What I always wanted to be was ‘retired’ and I’ve achieved that goal.
  3. When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?  I first felt like a writer when people came to me and asked me to revise and edit things for them.  I also I wrote hundreds of articles and short stories for web pages, magazines, newspapers and unit newsletters while in the military.
  4. Did it take a long time to get your first book published?  Yes and no; sixteen years ago my first novel submission was accepted, but the terms of the publishing contract were ridiculous.  Really, the contract took away more of my rights, and placed more obligations me than a military enlistment contract! I tossed the contract.  Kindle Direct Publishing was brought to my attention last year.  I’m very happy with the results of self-publishing.
  5. Do you work another job as well as your writing work?   I’m retired and live on my pension.  But yes, the income from my ebook sales has impressed me.  I’d have a difficult time finding a job that pays as much.
  6. What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?  My latest published book was the novel Long Shot: War for Profit Part Three.  Summarized, it would be: (Spoiler Alert!) “The hero visits his mother, goes on one last adventure, settles down and gets married.”
  7. Who is your publisher?  or do you self publish?  I self-publish.  Because I have a degree in English from Cameron University, decades of experience editing and writing, and a firm grasp of computer and communications technology, a publisher has little to offer me.  I’m very independent and don’t take criticism well when it’s in an area where I have considerable expertise.
  8. How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?  It depends.  My first novel took three years, and I got rid of it because it was really just a pile of writing class assignments tied together with weak premise.  My second novel took a year, but my last two took about three months each.
  9. Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?  First Enlistment: War for Profit Part One was a real nightmare to complete, as I was still employed full-time and also taking college classes.  It was really hard to keep the “real world” from spilling over into the novel.  The next two novels came right out and wrote themselves, because I had the time, because that was all I was doing then.  Makes it much easier.
  10. What can we expect from you in the future?   ie More books of the same genre?  Books of a different genre?  I’m writing a novella entitled Slick.  It is a story set in the first six months of Operation Enduring Freedom (2001-2002) and depicts the experiences of one very disgruntled Staff Sergeant serving past his approved retirement date.  I’ll place it in the Historical Fiction and Military Fiction genera.
  11. Do you have plans for a new book?  Is this book part of a series?  I plan to write a stand-alone literary novel next year. 
  12. What genre would you place your books into?  My War for Profit trilogy is definitely Military Science Fiction.
  13. Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written?  If so why is it your favourite?  I like First Enlistment the best because I was able to write about many of the details of military life from a relatively naïve perspective.  In the next two novels, the central character is more seasoned and has more control over the events, which made the story less fun to tell.
  14. Do you have a favourite character from your books?  and why are they your favourite?  My favourite character in the War for Profit novels has to be Master Sergeant Sevin.  He is by no means the central character, but I did model him on myself.
  15. How long have you been writing?  And, who or what inspired you to write?  I’ve been writing, off and on, part time, for over twenty years.  The first inspiration to write came from others, people telling me to ‘write a book’ when my explanations or anecdotes became a bit long-winded.  Then some written material I produced made its way into newsletters and magazines, and I was hooked on writing.
  16. Where do you get your book plot ideas from?  I try to construct a standard story arc and fill in with exaggerations of events from my own life when possible.  Occasionally I might take a detour from the plot for a single chapter, to give the reader a break, to make the story unique, different from the standard story arc in its own way. 
  17. Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?  I tried that, and the results were mixed.  Disastrous, really.  I won’t do it again.  In future I might allow a technical edit for mechanical errors only. 
  18. Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?  Yes!  I gift novels.  For reviews possibly, but for the most part I gift copies of my novels to people I think will enjoy them.  Not so much as a marketing tool, but it does seem that satisfied readers with free copies drives sales more than anything else. 
  19. Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?  Yes, I read them all.
  20. What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?  The toughest review was an obvious “torpedo drive-by review” intended to hurt my feelings.  Very strange behavior on the part of the reviewer indeed.
  21. How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?  Who designed the Cover of your books?  I create my own book covers, using pictures I either take my self or get from open sources such as US Military publications deemed unclassified.  Then I ‘cut n paste’ using Microsoft Paint software.  I also create my own titles.
  22. How do you market/promote your books?  I advertise on Goodreads, Google and post Amazon ads on my Hubpages articles.  I also ‘gift’ copies of my novels to unsuspecting near acquaintances.  All together I spend about USD 100 (about sixty quid) on marketing each month.
  23. What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller?  I have no Idea, and I’d rather not insult millions of readers by saying I’ve been sorely disappointed by the best sellers of the past three decades, that the majority of best sellers are dreck and screed with no literary merit.  I’d never say such a thing.  But I will say, thank God for self-published eBooks!
  24. Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"?  What did you do to get past the "block"?  I just quit writing when I don’t feel like it.  That seems to do the trick; not forcing the writing makes it much easier to do.  I tried that ‘discipline’ of writing a certain amount of words each day, but the junk that came out was horrible and I won’t try that again.
  25. What do you do to unwind and relax?  I go on a road trip.  Last week I drove two days to visit my mother, and then took three days on the return trip so as to drive through the Blue Ridge Parkway.  For shorter periods of relaxation, such as an afternoon, I may take my guns to the range and fire a few rounds.  Great way to relive stress.
  26. Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?  Yes, certainly.  Not all of the events or characters exactly match anything, but certainly there are similarities.  And, gross exaggerations.  Sometimes I’ll base a scene on a second-hand account of what someone told me.  It’s a matter of writing what I know, to add authenticity to the detail.
  27. Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books?  (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is.")  The message of my War for Profit Trilogy is this: Leave War to Professionals!
  28. Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?  David Drake, with his collection of Hammer’s Slammer’s novels and short stories, inspired me to write military science fiction.  But there is no way I’ll ever match his style, and I won’t even try.  Also, FASA Corporation’s Battletech board and computer games and MechWarrior novels, they provided considerable inspiration.
  29. Which format of book do you prefer, ebook, hardback, or paperback?  Ebook, absolutely.  I love my Kindle.  I tried reading a paperback book last month and the way the page curves the lines of text when the book is held open just drove me nuts.  Hard-bound books are just too heavy.
  30. What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?  My favourite book is Hemmingway’s To Have and Have Not.  I’ve read it at least a dozen times.  The simplicity and clarity of the prose is still able to tell very complex stories.  I find that aspect of the book fascinating.
  31. Do you think books transfer to movies well?  Which is your favourite/worst book to movie transfer?  All movies should be based on novels.  That forces the movie-maker to actually tell a coherent story.  For example, a dopey, lower-tier sappy romance novel was made into an outstanding movie, (The Bridges of Madison County) while massive mega-budgets thrown at the cameras and CGI graphics tend to create seizure-inducing blast of fast-moving color with little more than ‘boy meets girl’ plot lines.  (Avatar.)
  32. What are you currently reading?  Are you enjoying it?  What format is it?  (ebook, hardback or paperback) I’m reading Lights Out by L. T. Fawkes, available on Amazon as an Ebook.  I am enjoying the novel; it is some light reading and a murder mystery as well.  Primarily I enjoy the writing style of L.T. Fawkes. 
  33. Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?  Unfortunately, no.  Print books will always be with us, a necessary evil to sustain civilization.  They can, after all, withstand electromagnetic pulses.
  34. Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read?  and/or do Imaginative writing?  I can only speak for the schools near my home, and yes, those kids do more than enough reading and writing.
  35. Is there a book you know you will never read?  Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?  I studied literature in college, and I’ll say there are plenty of books I wish I’d never read.  And there are some I’ve vowed to never read, ever.  But I won’t name them here, that would be rude.  And I’m not saying they are bad books, but they are not for me.  It’s a matter of style and taste, for the most part.
  36. Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for?  and Why should we watch out for them?  Maybe not a ‘New’ author per se, but certainly little known, John Van Stry has published some eBooks I really enjoyed reading.  I can recommend them, they are fun to read.
  37. Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?  I’d consider changing the story arc of Long Shot.  Maybe.  The word count came up a little short at 41K words, but then again, I’d hate to go back and wedge in some nonsense just to pump up the word count.
  38. What do you think about book trailers?  I don’t really have much to say about book trailers.  I’ve seen a few.  They don’t appeal to me.
  39. What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?  Write what you know.  Keep writing.  Write what you like.  Ignore criticism as much as possible and be wary of encouragement and always consider the source of both.
  40. Do you or would you ever use a pen name?  No.  No pen name, not for me. I’m proud of what I write.
Where can readers follow you?
My Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004R0R3V8
My blog, at HubPages:  http://jedfisher.hubpages.com/
My Goodreads author page:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4876027.Jed_Fisher 





BLURB taken from Goodreads


The War for Profit Trilogy. 
A military science fiction adventure. Follow a young mercenaries' career from his first enlistment through his advancement to brigade command to his marriage.
In a future far distant, professional mercenary units dominate the battlefield and defend civilized worlds from one another as well as barbaric Mosh raiders.

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